Wednesday, 25 May, 2022

Gas crisis persists as Bibiyana field yet to resume full production

Gas crisis persisted across the country for the second day Monday as Bibiyana gas field failed resume full production.

The consumers in many areas in the city and elsewhere complained they are not getting gas which forced them to use an alternative oven to cook their meals in the holy Ramadan.

The country’s gas production drastically fell by about 450 MMCFD (million cubic feet per day) on Sunday, the very first day of Ramadan, following a technical fault developed in the Bibiyana gas field.

Officials said the gas field process system noticed that sand was coming out from two production wells which forced the authorities concerned to halt the production of the wells.

The incident had a big impact on the overall gas production as many areas experienced disruptions following the fall in the pressure of gas supply as an outcome of the fault.

The major impact was on the power generation as the state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) had to shut down a good number of power plants immediately which led to load shedding at different districts across the country.

Both the Chevron and Petrobangla officials were trying to fix the problems as early as possible. But no significant progress was made yet.

However, Chevron Bangladesh in a statement said that it is making progress in returning the Bibiyana Gas Plant to full capacity, with production at one of the two process trains affected at the plant and one well in the field resuming Monday.

The plant is running at a reduced rate after suspension of operations at two of its two trains and six production wells in the field on April 3 following the discovery of some production anomalies.

Safety of workers, nearby communities and protection of the environment are top priorities for teams working to bring the second train and all remaining wells back online. The cause of the unplanned shutdown will be investigated, it added.

Official sources said the country’s gas production was recorded at 2524.4 MMCFD of which Bibiyana was producing 886.9 MMCFD on April 3 while its production capacity is 1200 MMCFD.

The BPDB data shows that the operation of over 20 power plants, having a generation capacity of 2069 MW remained closed for gas shortage.

Meanwhile, state-owned Petrobangla in a statement said that gas shortage may occur in different parts of the country due to the reduced supply of gas for emergency maintenance work of Chevron-operated Bibiyana gas field.

Regretting the people’s temporary inconvenience from the gas shortage, Petrobangla hoped that the gas supply situation would be normalized as soon as possible by completing the maintenance and repair work.

Meanwhile, consumers in many areas in the city including Mohammadpur, Shekhertek, Rayerbazar, Dhanmondi, Shankar, Kanthalbagan, Mudhubazar, Kalabagan, Rampura, Wari, Maghbazar, Arambagh, Fakirapul, Banasree, Gopibagh, Mirpur, and Iskatan complained that they are not getting gas for cooking their meals.

The low pressure in gas supply also put the CNG-run motor vehicles in problem as the vehicles had to be waiting in long queues for refuelling when the government had rescheduled the operation time of the filling stations.

As per the latest order, the CNG stations must be kept closed for 6 hours a day from 5 pm to 11 pm during the holy Ramadan to facilitate gas supply to household consumers and power plants.